Leonardo's Noon Year's Eve was a hit with families! “The balloon drop has hundreds of balloons floating down and create an excitement that no other place in Northwest Oklahoma does for children,” says Executive Director Tracy Bittle. Sponsored by Edward Jones, Noon Year's Eve lets children enjoy the fun of celebrating the new year with out missing their bedtime.
The fun started New Year's Eve at 10 am and families could ride a Segway, make noisemakers, party hats or get their face painted. A delicious meal was also included. Before the big count down to noon kids were showing off their dance moves at the Dino Dance Party. Also included at the event was a special "Winter Wonderland" room where families could make snow angels or have a snowball toss with shredded paper "snow" and fabric "snow balls." In addition to the special party space the entire museum was open for play.
Leonardo’s OG&E Science Club finished the semester with a successful Science Fair on Dec. 11. “All of the students are to be congratulated on their hard work to produce these detailed projects,” commented Joyce Fales, Education Coordinator. “We hope the Science Club will encourage more children to seek a science background in college. Science is very important in our daily lives.
First prize, $100.00, was awarded to Jude Newman for his “Which Freezes Faster,” Second Prize, $50.00, went to Austin Lentz for his “Crystals” and Third prize, $25.00, went to Bentley Cantrell for his “Volcano – Which Went Higher.” Elijah Lentz’s project was “Earth.” Olivia Perez’s project was “Volcanos.” Braylon Perosi’s project was “Sink or Swim.” Every child that presented a project received prizes.
The Science Fair judges, who volunteered their time, were: Mike Ruby from OG&E, Whitney Hall from Oxbow Calcining, and Jamie Castle from Leonardo’s Children’s Museum. OG & E presented the club with a $25,000 grant in 2018 to help fund the Science Club at Leonardo’s.
Next semester begins January 8th, 2019 and costs $72 for members and $80 for non-members. Scholarships for families in need are available.
Leonardo’s is offering other classes including, JWL Fashion and Design Institute classes starting on January 10th. These classes are for 3rd Graders to 6th Graders. We will also be offering Paul’s Beginning Pottery Classes starting on January 16th. The pottery classes are for 8 to 13 years old. Leonardo’s also offer Tools for Homeschool Art and Science. They start on January 11th from 10:30 to 12:00. For more information call 580-233-2787 or online applications at Leonardos.org under the heading programs and classes.
Leonardo's JWL Fashion and Design Institute students went on a field trip to Return Engagement in downtown Enid recently. They were able to select a complete outfit and choose accessories to match. This allowed the students to consider what occasion they would wear the outfit and learn about fashion. After they choose all the elements of the outfit they then critiqued the overall merits.
"They had a great time," said Joyce Fales, educator. The field trip was an opportunity to use their knowledge of fashion. The class has been learning sewing techniques and have all made purses this semester.
Leonardo's is now taking applications for the next session which begins January 10, 2019. The class is open for students in third through eighth grade interested in fashion and beginning sewing. The eight week class is held every Thursday, from 3:30-5:30 pm. A healthy snack is also included. The class is taught by an Oklahoma State Certified Educator and held in the Education Annex. To sign up for the class call 580-233-2787 or get the application online under Programs & Classes.
Leonardo’s Children’s Museum is creating a new garden in Adventure Quest with lots of educational and community benefits. Adventure Quest is the largest community-built outdoor play space and a natural fit to have a pollinator garden.
“On several occasions science classes at Leonardo’s have studied the development and metamorphosis of butterflies and releasing them at Adventure Quest,” says Executive Director, Tracy Bittle. “It’s exciting that we get to take this education to an even higher level.”
A new pollinator garden is in the works this fall and come spring many beautiful, native Oklahoma flowers will bloom. This garden will feature native wildflowers and be a great place for foraging pollinators to enjoy the entire season. The Monarch butterfly is one of the pollinators that will benefit from this garden with specific milkweed and nectar plants that will help improve habitat.
Oklahoma is centrally located in the Monarch migration flyway and is an important path for the butterflies. Milkweed is the only plant that Monarch caterpillars eat so this is a vital plant.
Community volunteers have come together to clean up the Adventure Quest green area. Leonardo’s took the pledge with Okies for Monarchs to prepare and plant a special seed pack with Oklahoma native plants. Volunteers tilled and planted the seeds.
In spring time this garden will flourish and become a great place for families to watch and learn about the native plants and important pollinators. Leonardo’s also plans on hosting educational talks about Monarch Butterflies and other pollinators.
Follow the progress of the garden on Leonardo’s social media and website. Okies for Monarchs has more information on where to buy seeds and plants in Oklahoma to plant in your home garden. http://www.okiesformonarchs.org/
The yummy smell of pancakes filled the air at Leonardo's on Saturday, December 1, when families came to the museum in their pajamas and had breakfast.
Santa and Mrs. Claus came to meet the children and take a photo. Children also could write letters to Santa, paint a special Christmas ornament and get their face painted. Several of our critters joined in the fun and also dressed in pajamas. The museum opened early for the event and families could play in the museum after they attended the special event.
The museum is decorated for the season which provides a great opportunity for photos. Come play at Leonardo's today!
School is out for fall break so come to Leonardo’s Children’s Museum for Fall Festival Reinvented, Thursday, October 18 through Saturday October 20 throughout the museum business hours of 10 am to 5 pm.
“New this year will be three days of fall season fun,” says Executive Director Tracy Bittle, “We are celebrating fall with a museum full of special art and science activities.” All extra activities will be included with the price of admission. ($9 per person for anyone over 2 years old)
The Fall Festival will be packed full of fun for the whole family. The Oklahoma Museum Network Science Truck will be at Leonardo’s for the entire festival as well as face painting and special fall art activities. Children are encouraged to dress up for costume parades through the museum. Each day of the festival the first 100 paid guests will receive a Leonardo’s water bottle.
Costume Parades at: 1:30 pm
Face painting at: 10:00-11:00 am 1:00-2:00 pm 4:00-5:00 pm
Critter Talk: Learn what critters do in the fall 11 am 2 pm
Special Fall Crafts and Special Fall Photo Op
Learn & play in grain after harvest in fall.
Explore the new Kid Inventor Exhibit
Explore Science with the Science Museum of Oklahoma Science Truck
This weekend will also have discounts on memberships purchased so families can enjoy Leo’s throughout the year for pennies on the dollar. New members can get a 20 percent discount with one year paid. Or Leonardo’s will waive the first month payment for EFT pay membership. For extra fun you can enter to win tickets to the extremely popular Paw Patrol Live shows November 27 and 28.
The roar of the engine or blare of an emergency siren will be stirring at Leonardo’s Children’s Museum’s H & J Services Motor Mania. It is Saturday, October 13, from 10 am until 12 pm. The 200 block of East Maple Street will be blocked and Leonardo’s parking lot will be packed with machinery and vehicles of all shapes and sizes. Children can see and touch lots of cool vehicles and large trucks and get to meet some of the folks who professionally operate these vehicles. This is a safe manner for children to learn without being exposed to the dangers of these machines.
“It is a great time for families to get close to many interesting and exciting vehicles they may see driving on the road,” says Executive Director Tracy Bittle, “they may be inspired to become a fire fighter or police officer after getting to meet a real professional.”
This special event is $5. For members and $9 for non-members and includes a drink and a meal. Sponsor T & C Meats will provide the delicious meat!!
Once a non-descript stairwell now has been transformed with a new mural at Leonardo’s Children’s Museum. As guests climb to the second floor of the museum they will start at sea level, then see the beach, next the sky and onward to outer space. The mural was made possible by an anonymous donor who wished to honor longtime Enid Physiology and Astronomy Instructor Mr. Nolen Harsh. On Tuesday, October 9, 2018 at 11:30 am there will be a brief opening ceremony and light luncheon to celebrate the mural’s completion. Activities will take place on 1st floor near the stairwell mural and in the 1st floor Birthday Room. Any and all former Enid educators in the area are welcome to attend! Central National Bank is generously providing the meal.
“Leonardo’s Children’s Museum is privileged to serve as home to this educational, artistic tribute to Mr. Harsh. Historically our community has had some exceptional people teach and graduate from our school system. I am a proud graduate also. Many of my teachers were a tremendous influence on me, I didn’t have Mr. Harsh in the classroom, but I attended during his tenure,” said Executive Director Tracy Bittle, “Your community’s children’s museum is the perfect place to exhibit Mr. Harsh’s field, continue education in his honor and recognize his remarkable service.”
Some very special artists participated in honoring Mr. Harsh as well. Founding Leonardo’s Executive Director Cheryl Swanson along with Pam Gilbreath took on the challenge of creating an interactive mural. The artists wanted it to be beautiful and educational as well. They decided to use state symbols in the design to allow children to learn and have pride for the state. They researched their concepts for accuracy and NASA was a big resource as they planned for the solar system and onward to deep space.
Both Swanson and Gilbreath are former art teachers from Waller Middle School and Leonardo’s Summer Art Institute (now called DaVinci Day Camp). They have done and continue to do various project together. “We have worked together for so long that we trust each other’s judgments,” said Gilbreath who added that the two have had a long friendship. The artists have collaborated on many Enid art projects.
Using the existing hallway was not a challenge but inspiration for the artists. When Gilbreath saw bricks stacked facing out in a row along the wall she saw the top of Gloss Mountain. Swanson thought of painting cut outs that would be attached to the wall to give the mural a 3D effect. “We make perfect partners, “said Gilbreath, “she has great connections and wild ideas and I find a way to reel in her ideas to make it reality.” The two artists were also assisted by Andy Shearon who painted the highest parts of the stairwell mural including the deep space portion.
The artists began the mural while the museum was open and children would admire the progress. One day a young girl noticed the fish painted on the mural. She proudly told Gilbreath that she knew what kind of fish it was, “She guessed a catfish because of its ‘whiskers.’”
The mural honors this outstanding, devoted public educator Mr. Harsh but also pays tribute to Leonardo’s founders. Helen Garriott an art teacher who painted many seascapes and Owen a NASA Astronaut. As museum guests proceed from one floor to another there is now even more fun and learning to be done!